Moving into an assisted living facility doesn’t mean that your life is over, it simply means that you need more help with your day to day tasks. If you choose to spend your time sitting in front of the television, you’ll quickly find that you gain weight and lose muscle tone, and neither of those things is healthy for seniors. Here are some fantastic fitness tips to follow when you take residence in a facility:
Many assisted living facilities have supervised walking groups that residents can participate in. If you are physically able, there’s nothing wrong with following a walking plan of your own. In order to keep your muscles strong and your joints supple, try to walk at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes every other day. If you can walk every day without getting sore or tired, go for it! The more exercise you get, the better.
If the assisted living facility that you choose has a pool, take up swimming as a hobby. You don’t have to move like an Olympian to enjoy the benefits of the sport. Grab a kickboard, get in the water and do laps for 15 or 20 minutes. If the facility has a water aerobics class, sign up for it. Water aerobics are great for seniors, thanks to the low impact of the exercise. If the facility doesn’t have a formal class or group, ask the physical therapist for exercise suggestions.
Yoga has been practiced for centuries and is the perfect way to keep your joints lubricated and your muscles stretched. The exercise is very easy to practice on your own, and is fun to practice in a guided group. If you’ve never practiced yoga, you can easily find instruction online, in books and even from apps that you can download to your mobile device. Yoga is a zero impact exercise that is incredibly friendly to the joints and, thanks to the various poses, can help you increase your balance.
4.Games and Activities
Exercise doesn’t always have to be called exercise to be practical. Look and see what activities or games will be taking place in the facility and join in. Your facility may host a bowling tournament, table tennis games, or even hold shuffleboard competitions on the lawn. Any opportunity that you have to get physical should be taken and used to your advantage.
Most assisted living facilities are equipped with a gym that the residents can make use of. You may be able to walk on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike or lift weights in your facility’s gym. If it’s been a while since you’ve picked up a dumbbell, make sure that you talk to your physician, nurse or physical therapist before starting a weight resistance program. If you injure yourself, you could be out of commission for a good while.
Don’t move into an assisted living facility and stop living. Exercise is just as good, if not better, for seniors as it is for everyone else. If you don’t know where to begin, a member of the staff can provide you with the guidance that you need to get started.
Editor’s Note: Pete Shelton writes for local blogs. If you want more tips on living out your normal routine when signing up for assisted living, check out the USA News Brief.